Sunday, November 11, 2018
Special Veterans Day Ceremony
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the declaration of the Armistice on Nov. 11, 1918. The Torrington Veterans Memorial Committee, and its member groups, invites the public, current military personnel and all veterans to join them in the annual Veterans Day Observance ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 11.
Held inside the Coe Memorial Park Civic Center
Location: Torrington’s Coe Memorial Park
Time: 10:30 a.m.
History of Veterans Day:
World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”
Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities. This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.
The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.
An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation" which stated: "In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible."
President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. From left: Alvin J. King, Wayne Richards, Arthur J. Connell, John T. Nation, Edward Rees, Richard L. Trombla, Howard W. Watts
On that same day, President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans' Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.
In 1958, the White House advised VA's General Counsel that the 1954 designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee's chairman.
The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.
The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.
Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
Veterans Day Deals and Freebies
Businesses are giving to those who gave back.
As Veterans Day Weekend approaches, dozens of restaurants and other service-industry businesses are offering deals to veterans and current military members.
Veterans and Active Duty Military can select a free meal from a limited menu on Nov. 11. Provide proof of service required.
Bob Evans Restaurants are offering free select menu items to Veterans and Active Duty Military on Veterans Day, Sun., Nov. 11.
Buffalo Wild Wings
All day long on Sunday, November 11, veterans and active duty military who dine-in at their local B-Dubs can receive a free one order of traditional or boneless wings and a side of fries. At participating U.S. locations only.
California Pizza Kitchen
On Veterans Day, all veterans or active duty military personnel will be able to select a free entree from a special Veterans Day menu including pizza, salads and pasta. Please come in uniform or bring your military ID or other proof of service.
Chili's Grill & Bar
All veterans and active duty military personnel can choose a complimentary meal from a select menu on Veterans Day 2018.
Offering a buy one get one free (BOGO) burrito, bowl, salad or taco on Veterans Day from open to close. Offer valid for all active duty military, reserves, national guard, military spouses and retired military with valid ID.
Vets and active duty members can enjoy a free doughnut from stores nationwide. No purchase necessary.
On Nov. 11 and Nov. 12, in honor of Veteran’s Day all former and current military personnel will receive a free two meat Combo.
Friendly’s is treating veterans and active military, with a valid military ID or honorable discharge card, to a free dine-in breakfast, lunch or dinner from select menus on Nov. 11.
Iron Hill Brewery
Available both Sunday, Nov 11 and Monday, Nov. 12, veterans and active duty service members get a free burger or sandwich and non-alcoholic beverage.
Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., veterans or active duty service members with proof of service can get a free "$5 hot and ready lunch combo," which comes with four slices of "deep, deep dish" pepperoni pizza and a 20-ounce Pepsi.
On The Border Free Entree
Vets and military members can receive a free Lunch Combo meal of their choice all day on Veterans Day. Military ID or proof of service required.
On Sunday and Monday, November 11th and 12th to thank Veterans, active duty military and reservists, Red Lobster will offer a free appetizer or dessert from their select Veterans Day menu. To receive offer, show a valid military ID.
With proof of service, vets and active duty personnel can get a free "Red's Tavern Double Burger" and bottomless steak fries.
Veterans, active duty service members and military spouses can order a free tall hot brewed coffee. Starbucks is also donating 15 cents for every hot brewed coffee purchased on Veterans Day. Proceeds will go to Blue Star Families, which helps military families.
World of Beer
Veterans and current service members can get a free select draught beer (where legal) or $5 off their checks.
When the “War to End All Wars” ended on Nov. 11, 1918 at 11 a.m., one London newspaper began its story: “Bells burst forth in joyful chimes.”
One hundred years after Armistice Day brought a close to World War I, more than 1,000 communities across the United States will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great War’s end. Sunday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. local time, “Bells of Peace” will ring to mark the occasion.
At Washington, D.C.’s National Cathedral, retired Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen will oversee the bells tolling 21 times at 11 a.m. Eastern time to honor those who lost their lives during World War I, according to Betsy Anderson, program coordinator for the Bells of Peace, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission. Mullen served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2007-11. The commission suggests tolling the bells 21 times, symbolizing the 21-gun salute, the nation’s highest honor.
In Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey earlier this year issued a proclamation calling on “all citizens across the state to toll bells in remembrance of those who served in World War I.”
Commemorations in Alabama at 11 a.m. Sunday include a lowering of the wreath and tolling of the bells on the fantail of the USS Alabama in Mobile; a bell-ringing ceremony at the Levi Watkins Learning Center at Alabama State University in Montgomery; and the Samford Hall chimes ringing at Auburn University.
People can also participate on their own by going to the WWI commission’s website and downloading the Bells of Peace app. “As the built-in countdown timer reaches 11 a.m. local time, the Bells of Peace will toll” from the device, Anderson said in a U.S. Department of Defense release.